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Super Bowl 2021 picks, predictions against spread: Why Chiefs will edge Buccaneers in Super Bowl 55

The Chiefs will try and turn into the NFL’s first repeat champion in 16 years after they journey to Florida to face the Buccaneers in Tremendous Bowl 55. Tampa Bay would be the first NFL workforce to play a Tremendous Bowl in its dwelling stadium, however Kansas Metropolis (-3.5, 56.5) stays the betting favourite, prefer it has been for a calendar 12 months since successful Tremendous Bowl 54.

DeCOURCY: Brady-Mahomes an unprecedented QB matchup

Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs gained in Tampa in Week 12, 27-24. Tom Brady and the Buccaneers made that recreation look nearer than it was with 14 fourth-quarter factors after happening 27-10. Can Mahomes outduel Brady once more, and for the primary time within the playoffs, to get his second consecutive ring and match Brady’s repeat in Tremendous Bowl 39?

Kansas Metropolis and Tampa Bay have proved they’ve nice supporting casts round their quarterbacks; that is the explanation these groups have gotten via a difficult NFL season and playoffs to achieve this level. Here is a breakdown of what ought to be an epic Tremendous Bowl 55, past the marquee QB matchup:

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Chiefs vs. Buccaneers picks, predictions

  • Chiefs’ operating recreation vs. Buccaneers’ run protection

The Chiefs had been center of the pack with their speeding assault in the course of the common season (sixteenth within the NFL, 112.4 yards per recreation, 4.5 yards per try). The Buccaneers had been dominant in run protection (No. 1 within the NFL, 80.6 yards per recreation allowed, 3.6 yards per try allowed) and now have nostril deal with Vita Vea again wholesome to assist Ndamukong Suh up entrance.

The Chiefs rushed 20 instances for 87 yards within the first assembly, with Mahomes getting 28 of these. They had been stable towards the Browns within the playoffs (24 for 123) and fewer so towards the Payments (25 for 114), however they relied much less on excessive quantity and extra on chunk/gadget runs. Rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire returned for the AFC championship recreation whereas Le’Veon Bell was shelved. Darrel Williams, a troublesome runner who is aware of the system, is a dependable cross protector and good pass-catcher. He’ll work with Edwards-Helaire to offer steadiness, however neither will be as massive of an element as Damien Williams was in Tremendous Bowl 54.

The Chiefs will not waste time “establishing the run” and forcing one thing that is not there, however they should maintain the Bucs’ cross rush trustworthy for when Mahomes drops again, which he did 51 instances in Week 12. He had 39 dropbacks towards the Payments. 

Kansas Metropolis is snug successful via the air and being practically one-dimensional with Mahomes. Benefit: Buccaneers.

  • Buccaneers’ operating recreation vs. Chiefs’ run protection

The Buccaneers (No. 28, 94.9 speeding yards per recreation, 4.1 yards per carry) have the potential to run the ball effectively due to their good inside line and the juice that the hard-running 1-2 punch of Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones offers. They typically do not keep it up, nonetheless, and get locked into the downfield passing recreation with Brady, resulting in the restricted outcomes. 

Pressured to comply with a destructive recreation script towards the Chiefs in Week 12, they ran solely 13 instances. The variety of makes an attempt elevated to 24 within the NFC championship recreation, however after a giant playoff speeding efficiency towards the Saints, each yard towards the Packers was a grind, and their 76 whole yards had been inflated by Fournette’s 20-yard scoring burst.

The Chiefs are weak towards the run (No. 21, 122.1 yards per recreation allowed, 4.5 yards per carry allowed), however it’s unlikely the Bucs will pressure a ball-control scheme; as an alternative, anticipate them to belief Brady and their very own strengths within the passing recreation to maintain up with Mahomes. The Chiefs contained the Browns and shut down the Payments, save for Josh Allen scrambling, which Brady will not be doing. The Bucs will attempt to get Fournette or Jones going as a further big-play component, however they will not bread their butter there. Benefit: Chiefs.

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  • Chiefs’ passing recreation vs. Buccaneers’ cross protection

The Chiefs had been probably the most prolific passing workforce within the NFL (No. 1, 303.4 yards per recreation, 7.9 yards per try), which isn’t any shock given how a lot coach Andy Reid and offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy love placing video games in Mahomes’ palms. The Buccaneers have younger secondary led by cornerbacks Carlton Davis and Sean Murphy-Bunting. They’ve made lots performs towards the cross within the playoffs after an up-and-down common season (No. 21, 246.6 yards per recreation allowed, 7.0 yards per try allowed).

The priority for the Chiefs would be the Buccaneers’ star edge pass-rushers, Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul, who mixed for 5 sacks of Aaron Rodgers within the NFC championship recreation. Left deal with Eric Fisher (Achilles) is unlikely to play after being damage late towards the Payments, a callback to the Packers not having left deal with David Bakhtiari to gradual the Bucs’ strain. There’s additionally little likelihood the Chiefs will activate proper deal with Mitchell Schwartz (again) off injured reserve.

The Chiefs scheme to maintain Mahomes clear, and he helps out big-time by getting the ball out shortly or throwing on the transfer with purchased time. Barrett and JPP every had a sack within the regular-season assembly with Schwartz out, so KC not having Fisher, too, shall be a great addition for Tampa Bay.

However these accidents shall be balanced out by the Buccaneers’ damage considerations at security and the way, just like the Payments within the AFC championship recreation, they’d no solutions for large receiver Tyreek Hill (13 catches, 269 yards, three TDs) or tight finish Travis Kelce (eight catches, 82 yards) in Week 12. Davis, Murphy-Bunting and slot cornerback Jamel Dean all may be burned badly one-on-one. Devin White and Lavonte David are good cowl linebackers with vary, however Mahomes will discover the fitting matchups in the course of the sector because the Chiefs’ pace and quickness trigger the Buccaneers issues. Spreading the sector will guarantee Mahomes finds an open man shortly and will not be caught holding the ball for Barrett or JPP to rattle him.

When defensive coordinator Todd Bowles was capable of get strain with out blitzing towards Inexperienced Bay, it was a nightmare for Rodgers. Bowles cannot afford to ship additional rushers after Mahomes and threat Hill streaking free in all places once more. On the similar time, the Buccaneers do not wish to sit again in zone and let Mahomes choose them aside for lengthy drives. Just like the Payments and Leslie Frazier, the Bucs shall be caught selecting their poison, unable to provide the identical pressure-coverage concord they’d towards the Packers. Benefit: Chiefs.

MORE: Kelce, not Gronk, owns best season by an NFL tight end

  • Buccaneers’ passing recreation vs. Chiefs’ cross protection

The Buccaneers had been proper behind the Chiefs with Brady on the helm for coach Bruce Arians and offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich (No. 2, 289.1 yards per recreation, 7.6 yards per try). It is a strength-on-strength matchup, so the Chiefs (No. 14, 236.2 yards per recreation allowed, 7.1 yards per try allowed) shall be OK with the Bucs throwing extra and operating much less.

Brady threw two interceptions within the first assembly but additionally threw for 345 yards and three touchdowns and averaged 8.4 yards per try. That was not sufficient to match Mahomes’ 462 yards, three TDs and 9.4 yards per try, nonetheless. The Chiefs set the tone with an inside-outside pass-rush by deal with Chris Jones and finish Frank Clark from the entrance 4. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has picked his spots effectively to blitz from the again seven. Nickel again La’Jarius Sneed has been a constant pressure within the playoffs.

Brady has seen every thing and it is laborious to idiot him, though Spagnuolo did have his quantity within the Giants’ huge upset of the Patriots in Tremendous Bowl 41. Brady had loads of time to throw towards the Packers, taking just one early sack, and the Chiefs dumped him just one as soon as in Week 12.

The Chiefs, like most groups, haven’t got the cornerbacks to deal with Buccaneers large receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin from outdoors to fit. Tight finish Rob Gronkowski additionally received in on the big-play enjoyable in Week 12 as he led the workforce in receiving. Brady unfold the ball round to seven targets as Jones and Fournette had been additionally components.

Just like the Buccaneers, the Chiefs are shaky when its involves masking tight ends. The center of the sector with Godwin, Gronkowski and Cameron Brate will stay open for enterprise whereas the Chiefs attempt to comprise the deep pictures to Evans and others. Brady has carried out effectively in mixing the quick and intermediate throws he loves with Arians’ “no risk-it, no biscuit” aggressiveness. Like Mahomes, the arm energy to muster the ball downfield when these pictures can be found is not an concern.

Brady has gotten into bother when lacking security or conerback assistance on what seem like one-on-ones downfield. Tyrann Mathieu and Bashaud Breeland received him within the first recreation, very like the Packers’ mixture of Adrian Amos and Jaire Alexander did. Brady must be extra cautious as a result of he will not get away with a number of picks once more. Benefit: Buccaneers.

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The Bucs’ accidents mounted in the course of the playoffs. Vast receiver Antonio Brown and rookie security Antoine Winfield Jr., two key playmakers, did not go towards the Packers and their standing for the Tremendous Bowl is unknown. Ought to Brown miss one other recreation, that might open the door for large receivers Scotty Miller and Tyler Johnson, one other rookie, to make crucial performs. Gronkowski has been quiet as a receiver within the playoffs as he been used extra to dam, however the Buccaneers can unleash him at any time. Tampa Bay’s ancillary receivers and canopy males should contribute. 

The Chiefs have related wild playing cards in large receivers Mecole Hardman, Byron Pringle and Demarcus Robinson with Sammy Watkins (calf) probably lacking one other recreation. Mahomes, with two weeks to relaxation, shall be better-positioned to have an effect on the sport by operating in key conditions. Kansas Metropolis has proved it has depth in its defensive position rotation and secondary. Benefit: Chiefs.

  • Particular groups

The Buccaneers received some good returns from Jaydon Mickens towards the Packers. Former Chiefs “Mr. Irrelevant” Ryan Succop has been dependable kicking subject targets inside 50 yards. Bradley Pinion is a stable punter. The Chiefs are harmful with Hardman and Pringle. Harrison Butker offers them a booming leg on subject targets. Tommy Townsend would not punt sufficient to be an element. Benefit: Chiefs.

MORE: Why does Butker keep missing extra points?

Arians has gained a Tremendous Bowl as an offensive coordinator for the Steelers, however that is his first time within the recreation as a head coach. Reid has been on hearth together with his scheming, decision-making and motivation since getting his first ring in Tremendous Bowl 54, studying from his earlier playoff errors. He’s a significantly better coach than the one who misplaced to Brady’s Patriots in Tremendous Bowl 39. Reid, Bieniemy, Spagnuolo and the remainder of the Chiefs’ workers know from latest expertise what it takes to win on this stage. Arians, Leftwich and Bowles cannot match that. Benefit: Chiefs.

  • Intangibles

Mahomes, 25, desires to nail down that second ring immediately to proceed on a potential trajectory to matching Brady’s six Tremendous Bowl wins by the point he is carried out. Brady, 43, desires so as to add his seventh ring in 10 Tremendous Bowl journeys to additional distance himself because the GOAT and win with out the Patriots. The Buccaneers shall be helped by going via the week as usually as potential in Tampa, making ready for a house recreation with every thing at stake. Brady is likely to be the last word Tremendous Bowl professional, however that is nonetheless new to most of his workforce whereas virtually all of the Chiefs simply skilled it final 12 months. Benefit: Chiefs.

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Tremendous Bowl 55 prediction

The Chiefs and Buccaneers ought to every put up extra factors than they did in Week 12; Mahomes and Brady are locked into excessive degree of execution. Brady has been terrific in getting the Bucs thus far in his first season with them, however the Chiefs are totally different beasts from what they conquered within the NFC. Brady would not get as a lot as assist as Mahomes does general. Going towards Brady in a decent recreation deep within the fourth quarter is not good, except Mahomes is on the opposite aspect.

Chiefs 31, Buccaneers 27

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